Citizen Kane

Sometimes we look at lists of the greatest anythings of all time and openly wonder why certain old films, movies, ballplayers, etc. make those lists. After watching Citizen Kane again the other night it’s still abundantly clear why it’s considered one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, film of all time. Orson Welles’ classic still holds up to the test of time and is worthy of all the praise it’s earned. Following an intrepid reporter seeking the real back story of who Charles Foster Kane was in order to create a proper story on his life we get all the information about Kane at the same time the reporter does with no extra details until the very end. There are dozens of examples of why this film is great, one of my favorites is a beautiful illustration of how distant Kane was from his second wife. The two sit at opposite ends of a room nearly a hundred feet from each other, he in his chair and she by the fireplace, with nothing but space between them, and have a conversation the only way they can, by shouting. Everything about Citizen Kane is on point. If you haven’t seen it you owe it to yourself to find a time to.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Not since childhood have I been so consumed by a work of literature. I initiated contact by opening the book; then the words leapt from the page and transported me across the world to an unknown land. My senses were overloaded with the realities of this place too distant to be real, too startling to be imaginary, replete with ripe fruit bubbling summer joys, cloudless and colorful winter skies, fallen Adams on cold autumn ground…I felt every character’s conflicting emotions like so many of my own, loving and loathing parts of myself in a boy--then man--I heard about but never met. I moved through the pages according to their rhythm, the prose at once fresh and soothing, fierce and subjugating. As the journey neared its end, some loose ones were tied in such perfect bows they disrupted the natural meter I had come to know. But in life I’ve learned to accept even the expected unexpected. In all, The Kite Runner is a 324 page sojourn through heaven, hell, and all the shared space in between that is worth every minute it takes to read it “a thousand times over.”


Stop complaining about Bad Hip Hop on the Radio and in the News and Read this Guy’s Blog!

OK look… I used to complain about the crap that’s on the radio and how the media brings the worst out in Hip Hop. I have hereby decided to stop whining and look to resources other than the conventional media.

There’s a really dope blog that anyone who is starving for an unbiased, honest account of Hip Hop needs to be checking out. It’s called Adam's World. This cat (Adam Bernard) has put me on to some people who I would have never researched before and are now getting bumped in my player on the regular. Not to say that there are some people that I haven’t felt in his blog but they are very far and few between. But hey that’s my opinion, right? You’re not gonna like everyone but you’ve got to be exposed to people first right? Adam Bernard brings it to you raw with an artist of the week and lots of refreshing commentary on the underground as well as the mainstream stuff.


Number Ones - UME

Is your music green? I don't mean new, novice, wet behind the ears or anything like that. I'm talking environmentally safe. Well the folks at UME are concerned about the planet equally as much as they care about releasing great music that's soul healthy. Now available in new eco-friendly packaging are a series of #1s compilations, by legendary artists Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5, Kool & The Gang, Conway Twitty, and Loretta Lynn. There are also great new #1s compilations like Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Modern Rock and Classic Disco, which include hit songs from artists like Rod Stewart, Sum 41, Poison, Hole, and Irene Cara. (Makes me wanna purchase a copy of Sparkle on DVD and get reacquainted with miss Cara.) In this world of ever changing digital technology that allows one to literally download most any of their favorite tunes in seconds, there are still many folks that enjoy a tangible hard copy. A cd collection in display should consist of your favorite titles fashioning their original packaging. A spindle with a dozen and a half cdrs scribbled on with a Sharpie is awful and lame.


Isopure Zero Carb Protein

As a self-professed gym rat and nutrition freak I’ve tasted my fair share of protein powders. Never has one gone down as smoothly as Isopure’s Zero Carb variety. 50 grams of protein, a host of vitamins, and no carbs, all packaged together in a powder that tastes like a fruit drink (if you get a fruit drink variety, which I recommend). Unlike other mixes Isopure’s isn’t thick and there are no chunks of protein left over. Another welcome feature is that your breath doesn’t smell awful after you drink this, it smells fruity. The lone drawback for some folks with this product is that it can be very sweet, almost Kool-Aid sweet, which can take a few days to get used to. That being said, if you want a quality protein that won’t make you feel weighed down you need to give Isopure a try. You won’t be disappointed.


Death Note - TV Series

From Manga to Anime to two full length feature films and a third on the way dedicated to one of its main characters, the Death Note series has become a phenomenon in Japan and the folks from the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim want to make sure a new audience in North America knows this as well. Tired and bored of the day to day occurrences in the shinigami world, Ryuk a shinigami(god of death) decides he’ll have a little bit of fun by dropping his 'Death Note' in the human world. The action soon begins once Light Yagami, a certified young super genius, discovers it on the campus of his highschool. Plainly put, the holder of this book is capable of ending the life of his/her victim by thinking of them and writing down their name. It’s the science of visualization gone terribly wrong. As Light’s quest to rid the world of evil proceeds he gains the title Kira. The question remains will he become the god he strives to be and turn his dreaded world into a crime less utopia. For that answer you’ll just have to tune in.


Starbury - Cyclone II

Would a pair of kicks priced just under fifteen bucks revolutionize the sneaker market and bring the likes of corporate athletic wear empires to their knees? The masses suddenly realizing the ridiculousness of paying hundreds of dollars for imported assembly line moldings of rubber, vinyl and polyester. No, of course not. Even still, nothing beats an inexpensive pair of pretty slick looking running shoes. Enter the Cyclone II, one of the most aesthetically pleasing, from a rather wide range of Starbury designs. Available in four color combinations, (I personally favor the Dark Grey/Black/White persuasion) the Cyclone II is a mash up of low end Reebok Classic (a.k.a. Carl Lewis's) and New Balance Classic Retro Running shoe. Interestingly it settles right between its two competitors in terms of comfort and durability. The major issue with these shoes though is that they're exclusively sold at Steve & Barry's. New York has seventeen locations, but only one of those is in the city. If you reside in the insomniatic rotten apple and wear a popular size, good luck on finding a pair.

Wednesday - The Absolute Resource for the Independent Music Artist

Check it, I am considered by my peers as a person who is on the forefront of indie promotion in NYC so I kid you not: is the best indie music artist resource out now.

An artist can use the widgets (tools) provided by ReverbNation to pep up and boost his/her own website, Myspace page and postings on message boards in virtually the snap of a finger with seamless integration. They even offer ways to make money by doing nothing but promoting ones own material. When people click through your page, you make money. I know it sounds too good to be true but within 24 hours of signing up for that option I made 63 cents from doing absolutely nothing. That’s residual income! By adding on a account you can sell your mp3s as well. There is a mailing list tool that rivals that of the likes of expensive services like Constant Contact (which charges like $10/month) for the low cost of FREE dollars. You can import your current email list flawlessly and the spam buster policy is fantastic! The media players load instantly (unlike Myspace which can take forever) and you can make custom "tunepaks" with the songs you desire to lure people in from your monthly newsletter. You have the option of using html to spice up your profile and upload unlimited pics and songs. There’s even a widget for your show announcements that has a map built in with full zoom features.

Success is only limited to your creativity and it’s free and all you need to do is take advantage of it with ReverbNation.


Preachermann - Negroes Stay Crunchy In Milk

To follow the path of one's elders in bloodline is generally the natural order of man. Preachermann is no different when it comes to this tradition as there are a number of ministers in his family, realizing this he chose to follow suit but in a very unorthodox way compared to those that came before him. To preach means to teach, something that this administer of soul does throughout his EP entitled 'Negroes Stay Crunchy In Milk'. With a voice that reminds you of Curtis Mayfield with a bit of Al Green during his chain rockin shirtless period, Preachermann channels the energy of many soul singers of the past but still his unique energy and life's experience shine through to reveal pieces of this man as he brings us to the present moment. Apparent in his interaction with audiences at live shows and even out in the jungle of concrete plateaus, you can see that its not all about him, its about the betterment of the hearts of his ever growing congregation, being anointed with the words and sounds he conjures and transmits for his heavenly guide.


Core Rhythm - Nat Turner Reloaded

Core Rhythm's freshmen release, 'Nat Turner Reloaded' has the strength of a senior classman placing anything to follow it in contention for a doctorate in the major of mic management. The album is a tight work that tackles the ever looming issues of race, supremacy and the disenfranchisement of the poor and persons of color on the planet. Guest appearances by artists like Creature, Wells Knotty, GrandMixer DXT, Baba Israel and Farbeon are a complement to an already strong album, they serve to help complete this well thought out and prepared sonic offering. Incredible choices of film soundbites throughout are the glue that seamlessly meld each track together. Album cuts provided by DJ Drilla except Track 2 by DJ Center and Track 8 by GrandMixer DXT.

Slanguage listen


Kanye West - Graduation

The Louis Vuitton Don donned a cape and mask instead of the traditional cap and gown on his graduation day September 11th, 2007. My brief stream of thought on his speech at the ceremony is as follows: 'Graduation is a guilty pleasure, filthy leather, immature, corny but pure. An (un)predictable detour. It's worthy of applause, while self loathing, with nice clothing and still self assured. On an award tour, throwing tantrums for sure, for over shores or round the corner explorers. 55-70% or so of the tunes on this album are pretty much single material. (Something most artists never successfully pull off unless their names happen to be Big Boi & Andre 3000). Elton John, Quincy Jones, George Clinton & Hank Shocklee are just a handful of beings of influence without whose presence this production could literally not have manifested. "Everything I Am" is a great song. The impulse to kick the squat out of Kanye while he's suited in that bear mascot outfit does exist, but it's well balanced with the idea of a celebratory high five and victory shuffle to cheer the home team winning 07's state championship. Lastly, Kayne did not sell any narcotics or murder a soul. He just ran his mouth and shopped'. I guess that's not so terrible.


Rue Melo – Rue Melo

Once in a blue moon an album crosses my path that thrills me beyond all belief and makes me believe in true artistry again. Rue Melo’s debut CD happens to be one of those albums. A tri-lingual beauty who sings in English, French and Spanish, Melo has a level of soul rarely seen in today’s artists. In addition to her vocal and songwriting capabilities Melo is also backed by one heck of an impressive band. I was hooked within the first 90 seconds of this album and look forward to keeping it in my CD player for a very long time. The music of Rue Melo and her band is like Joss Stone on a whole other level making her eponymous debut a definite album of the year candidate.


Stone Cold Wu-Tang

OK, this wasn’t a DVD, it was a VHS tape, but as a Wu-Tang movie it still merits a review. I enjoyed Stone Cold Wu-Tang for the pure entertainment value of it. The main villain kills people with his hair braid and you can’t get much more ridiculous than that. The first seven minutes are filmed in what I can only assume was a blackout since next to nothing is visible, but after that it’s fight scene after fight scene with about paragraph’s worth of dialogue in the entire movie. A few other fun facts about the movie is that the city they’re supposed to be in is completely deserted the vast majority of the time and looks a lot more like Tijuana than Tokyo (or Hong Kong, which is where they supposedly were, but I like alliteration). For some campy martial arts fun Stone Cold Wu-Tang is a winner.


Chamillionaire – Ultimate Victory

When Chamillionaire released The Sound of Revenge it surprised me. I had it in a stack of albums and when I put it on I thought “oh no, another southern rapper,” but his charismatic nature and multiple flows won me over. With Ultimate Victory, however, Chamillionaire suffers a bit of a sophomore slump. “Ridin Dirty” was the mega hit off of the last album and Chamillionaire seems to be stuck in that flow for the vast majority of Ultimate Victory, rarely switching things up. After a while this becomes tiresome as the flow becomes routine. The news isn’t all bad, though, as there are quite a few standout tracks on the album due to the fact that Chamillionaire, unlike a lot of his peers, throws some interesting topic matter into his rhymes. Unfortunately, the rest of Ultimate Victory is a bit of a letdown. I’m guessing someone at the label pressured Chamillionaire to stick with the “Ridin Dirty” flow to sell more singles on iTunes, which he probably will as the singles will be incredibly strong. As a complete album, however, it's neither an Ultimate Victory nor a stunning defeat. Instead it's more of a 12 round split decision.


Lupe Fiasco - Food & Liquor

While there's ample talk of artists finding forever and refusing rehab while cleaning out their ear drums, easily forgotten in less than a year is a kat that spoke simply about food and liquor. Lupe Fiasco’s freshman release is a well put together piece of art. Considering all the crying about Hiphop music being so terrible, it's hard to imagine how an entire album of tight, compelling rhymes and beats, with hardly any profanity could be overlooked and ushered to the wayside. Honestly, it isn’t that hard to believe. People always seem to complain about what’s available; Then new options appear on the horizon. The ship they’ve long awaited finally shows up. It docks, but they don’t want to get on. Amazingly, all of these previously eager life guards freeze up. They suddenly can no longer swim. They soon decide it would be much safer to stay on dry land. Lupe’s fiasco is a result of poor label decisions, and improper promotion methods yes, but perhaps more so caused by a finicky audience that will ultimately starve to death or suffer severe malnourishment if they don’t have the courage to try something new.

American Terrorist f. Matthew Santos - mp3


Video: Gnarls Barkley - Who Cares

These days it isn't often you get but so excited about anything music related, unless you're lucky enough to have an extensive vinyl collection at your disposal. (Yes records rule!) Never mind, most videos plain ol suck. In the occasion that there is something worthy of your attention it ought to be noted, celebrated even. Who would have known the perfect role for lmnop movie actor/director Mario Van Peebles, would be that of a not so baaaad ass Blacula. ‘Who Cares’ out shines the ‘Crazy, Smiley Faces and Gone Daddy Gone’ set of Gnarls Barkley videos because it doesn’t take the easy route, it moves beyond obvious. Hands were definitely soiled. Blood Red Nights (the title of this short film/music video) is a three minute and thirty eight second masterwork that you will appreciate more and more every time you watch it.



M.I.A. has been, since her debut, worshipped by the hipsters and adored by a large segment of the music press. KALA should put an end to most of that. While her first album, Arular, managed to merge her average singing with her average rapping with interesting production well enough to create some catchy songs, on KALA it all goes wrong. Sonically it’s simply a mess. Rather than being interesting the beats end up feeling noisy. Lyrically it’s just as ridiculous as her previous effort, but without any of the charm. While I was listening to KALA I openly wondered what made me like M.I.A. in the first place.


Bekay – The Horror Flick LP

Bekay is one of those artists whose buzz has been nice for a few years now but we’ve yet to really see him break out of the “buzz” zone and into the “star” zone. On The Horror Flick LP he shows signs that he’s ready to make that leap. The album starts out with a number of braggadocios tracks, a few too many if you ask me. It’s obvious Bekay is a heck of a lyricist, but at times I wondered if this was going to turn out to be a case of Canibus Syndrome – all battle rhymes, no hook writing ability. The last two songs on the album, however, “Don’t Feel Good” and “Dead End,” prove that Bekay is not only capable of writing complete songs, but he is capable of crafting interesting ideas and making them work over a three to four minute format. If given the right opportunity Bekay could be a star. The Horror Flick LP starts to scratch the surface of this talented individual, making it worthy of your listening time.


Britepic over the years has become a viable source of income generation for many website owners and blogs alike with their textual ads and interstitials. Not long ago did they also delve into the realm of video, attempting to tap the flourishing viral market by allowing users to tag clips with their personal logos while simultaneously making it possible for ads to be displayed along with their content in video flash players. Now, Adbrite has taken it up yet another notch in a quest to corner every possible avenue for advertising online. Simply, they suggest that you replace that universal (img) tag we all know in HTML, (used to display images), with their code that actually turns your visuals into ads. The new service is called Britepic. The idea is that since images still are one of the most highly sought after items online, why not embed ads into your images to earn money. How successful this new implementation will be only time will tell. We’ll just need to give it a test run for ourselves.


Hairspray: The Soundtrack

A conglomerate of stars young, old, and in between lend their voices to the soundtrack: Hairspray. Danceable, kid-friendly tunes soulfully sung by Zac Efron and Elijah Kelley are juxtaposed against bold, sultry ballads: Queen Latifah makes the world believe “Black is Beautiful;” love is in the air during the John Travolta-Christopher Walken duet “(You’re) Timeless to Me” (implausible, I know, but true). The supporting cast delivers solid vocals throughout. Producer Marc Shaiman expertly curbed potential show stoppers (Amanda Bynes) and show killers alike (sorry Brittany). Nikki Blonsky was born to play Tracy Turnblad; in every word she sings you feel her gleaming smile and energy. With Hairspray, the songs are the story. Aided only by the cd cover picturing the actors in costume and, of course, the melodies, I created my own 1962 Baltimore: the hair, the high school, the black and white television set with the black and white teens on their designated sides, and the dances appeared before me as the drama unfolded in song.


Homeboy Sandman – Nourishment

It’s rare in any form of music for someone to come along with something new and unique. As the old saying goes, it’s all been done before. On Nourishment Homeboy Sandman proves himself to be one of the few exceptions to that rule. From the almost vaudevillian “Knock ‘Em Out” with it’s crazy piano laced hook, to the hand clap beat of “VerbalSoulClapMania,” Homeboy Sandman pushes the boundaries of rap music and, during a time when many people feel Hip-Hop has become stale, has found a way to come with something fresh. His rapid fire flow is surprisingly easy to understand and he arms it with plenty of knowledge to share. All this adds up to Nourishment being a potential year end Top Ten album.

For more on Homeboy Sandman check him out at


QN5 – Asterisk 4

When I went to see Sideshow last month I picked up Asterisk 4, the latest compilation CD by QN5. First off, this CD is actually mixed, which is a nice change of pace from all the mix CDs that are just tracked. Second, there’s a lot of dope music on this album. I didn’t skip a single track while playing Asterisk 4 and when it got to the point where most CDs get boring and repetitive, which is at around the one hour mark, Tonedeff and Substantial came through with a truly amazing song titled “Punk (Megashow Mix)” that combines the best elements of Hip-Hop with the best elements of electronic music. The joint would fit in at any dance club in the world. Overall I was very pleased with Asterisk 4, and I’m not usually one to give props to 79 minute albums.


Dynamite Warrior

I’m a sucker for a good martial arts flick, so when Dynamite Warrior hit my desk I was psyched to block out a few hours to dedicate to it. Unfortunately my excitement was quickly squelched by a nonsensical plotline that attempted to mix a martial arts film with a bad sci-fi flick. Set in early 1900’s Thailand, the main character attacks cattle rustlers with rockets, ends up falling for a girl, has to fight someone who’s been blessed with superhuman power from a demon, and must get the menstrual blood of a virgin, who happens to be his love interest, to break the spell. Sound ridiculous? It is. Martial arts movies should stick with the martial arts and leave the cheesy sci-fi stuff for the cheesy sci-fi movies. As Dynamite Warrior proves, the two don’t mix well at all.


Sketch Tha Cataclysm – Party Music 4 Pissed Off People

Never has an album been as appropriately titled as Sketch Tha Cataclysm’s Party Music 4 Pissed Off People. PM4POP is exactly as advertised, socially conscious music that you can dance to. While a lot of artists have attempted to play both sides of the coin Sketch has managed to succeed where most of them have failed. Neither lyrics nor production take a backseat on PM4POP as Sketch has made sure both shine equally without letting one overtake the other at any point during the album. If you’re looking for something that will make you think and will make you shake your ass at the same time pick Party Music 4 Pissed Off People up. With songs such as “The Revolution Will Not Be…” and “Betsy Ross and the Miseducation of America,” you won’t be disappointed.

For more on Sketch Tha Cataclysm check him out at


Live Free or Die Hard

Action seekers will find much in this the fourth installation of the previously thought retired Die Hard series. Detective John McClane (Bruce Willis), Mr. Analog living in the digital age, is probably the only anti-hero capable of stopping an American cyber-terrorist plot with his cool humor, calm demeanor, and McGyver-esque tactics. Each of the characters were well chosen including: the nerdy hacker suspect turned indispensable assistant Matt Farrell (Justin Long); the sassy, street-smart teenaged daughter of the hero, Lucy McClane (Mary Elizabeth Winstead); the exotic cyborg? killing machine and mate of the evil genius, Mai Lihn (Maggie Q); and the mildly cartoonish villain himself, Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant). Two hours of shots blasted, disasters averted, panicked escapes, jets, planes, and automobiles and I rushed home to brew some green tea to calm my frazzled senses. I do hope director Len Wiseman made sure Mr. Willis had his vitals thoroughly inspected before and after filming. Men his age shouldn't entice the grim reaper with such shocks to their biomechanical systems.


Transformers - Sum's Review

This summer was starting to look like total torture in the world of comic and cartoon adaptations for the big screen. Two hours of Jessica Alba prancing around in tights on botox cocktails wasn’t enough to cut it for The Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and although there’s still hope for the Spiderman series, the last installment was a pain in the ass. Then came Transformers…. Director Michael Bay weaves the epic tail of Autobots vs. Decepticons on a collision course for the Allspark with a huge budget, dope images, explosive altercations and best of all HUMOR. There may have been just a little too much folly, but the fact that we could see Optimus Prime introduce himself with his original voice, or hear Megatron tell Starscream that he’s ‘failed him again’ made up for the few missteps. Add an urgent plot, John Turturro, and some robots with great acting coaches, and you have the beginning of possibly the best adaptation since Batman Begins. Bring on the sequels...this is a must see for the kid in all of us.


Flight of the Conchords on HBO

For years HBO has been searching for a suitable half hour program to follow their standout program Entourage. Two years ago there was The Comeback, which was fantastic at times, but could also make the viewer feel very very awkward. Last year’s attempt was Luckie Louie, which was ambitious, but oftentimes depressing. With this year’s Flight of the Conchords, however, HBO has finally found the perfect show to follow Vinnie Chase and his boys. Flight of the Conchords follows two very funny musicians from New Zealand who have one fan, who is a borderline stalker, very few gigs, and who, at times, randomly break out into song about whatever situation they’re in. It’s almost as if Weird Al had a British sense of humor and his own TV show. Flight of the Conchords is downright hilarious and will hopefully be around for quite a while. Make it a point to catch this show.


Coolzey – Soixante-Neuf EP

When I first saw this CD in my mailbox I had no idea what to expect. The album had no tracklisting and no picture of the artist on the cover, just some artwork and a sticker that said it was the second EP in a series. After listening to it I’m looking forward to the rest of what’s to come. Coolzey has a unique style all his own and although you only get to be engulfed in it for 15 minutes, it’s a fun, albeit short, ride. The final track on the EP, "Artworld," is the real standout, where a mock Wal-Mart like store is created as the last place on earth where people can buy music, but the kids are becoming too smart to fall for the capitalist creation and rather than purchase the watered down, store-approved, version of art they are out creating their own.

Raheem Jamal – Boombox

A rap album that positive, but not preachy, as well as being funky and fun? A radical concept to say the least, but Raheem Jamal took that concept and ran with it, creating Boombox, an album that Hip-Hop fans should be cheering for. The name of the album is incredibly appropriate as Jamal takes the listener back to a time when we heard dope Hip-Hop playing out of boomboxes on nearly every street corner. Jamal doesn’t imitate those times, however, he has his own updated version of it, so don’t think of Boombox as yet another artist attempting to channel the quote-unquote “Golden Era,” rather think of it as an artist attempting to create a Golden Era right now. Give this one a spin, you won’t be disappointed.


Evan Almighty

Evan Almighty, the not quite sequel to Bruce Almighty stars God himself, Morgan Freeman, and one of his funniest straight men, Steve Carell. In this rendering, God touches a vain mortal in a life changing way but, give or take a pop-culture reference, the similarities end here. Release your notions of Jim Carrey’s Bruce and let Steve as Noah, uh Evan, tickle your senses with his personal brand of physical humor. Ok, it isn’t what some expected, but should the Almighty’s sequel be predictable? I think not. The world was long overdue for a light family comedy that doesn’t require us to explain to the kids the thinly veiled violence and sexual innuendo; we get enough of that from commercials and cartoons, green CGI monsters included. Thanks Almighty and the Almighty’s crew for another winner, even though the hipsters weren’t pleased that you didn’t really doom us all.

The Known World by Edward P. Jones

Slavery. The American South. Life. Chains. Color Lines. Toil. Love. Sweat. Confusion. Legacy. Tears. Loss. Freedom. A litany of characters- black, white, and Indian, bound and free- living in the antebellum south. Owning, stealing, buying, maiming, loving, killing, but never freeing slaves. Only a great mind could conjure up so many lifetimes and eloquently reveal them in the disjointed way one remembers their own past, intertwined in the lives of those around them, with a non-intrusive narrator who reports what he knows and sees without judgment. This tale of the true South captured my attention, stole my emotions, and released my spirit only after I digested every word. Know what you never knew. Read The Known World by Edward P. Jones.


Sideshow @ The Knitting Factory 6/21

When 5G Productions and QN5 Music came together to create the first Sideshow they couldn’t have possibly known how instantly successful it would be. The crowd that gathered to see what was billed as “a night of singer / songwriter Hip-Hop” was only two people away from being a total sellout, though, so Louis Logic, Tonedeff, Substantial and Miz Metro, the four performers for the evening, had to know they were on to something. Overall it was an amazing night of music that mixed Hip-Hop with live instrumentation including two artists, Tonedeff and Louis Logic, showing off their skill on the piano. In a bit of marketing genius, everyone who attended the show was given a ten track CD featuring the music of all the artists. In an era where the underground rarely gets a chance to be played on the radio it was a fantastic move at getting listener retention for music that seriously deserves it. Everyone involved in Sideshow should be extremely happy with how the first one turned out and if you see another being advertised make it a point to go.


Sole Inspiration @ Sputnik 6/27

Yes, dear readers, custom sneakers are officially a form of art. That was immediately obvious to anyone who attended Sole Inspiration at Sputnik in Brooklyn. The first installment of In The Studio explored the artistry behind the spirited sneaker culture, and doubled as a benefit to help youth in Brooklyn’s Help 1 Family Shelter. Featuring sneaker designs from customizers such as Future Kicks and Tough City/Uncutt Ink, the event definitely let the sneakers shine. My personal favorites were the low tops with the NYC cityscape in black and white. Before the exhibit opened, there was a small reception, which featured previews of two upcoming ‘sneaker head’ documentaries, Jordan Heads and Know You Got Sole. What really set the mood was the music by DJ NessDigi. He took us all back to the time when we fell in love with sneakers and Hip Hop; two art forms forever linked.

SolWorks, the event promoters, will have bi-weekly events in the near future. When they do, you’ll know where to find me – with the cool kids in the one-of-a-kind Dunks.


Whether you’re a would be lush, self proclaimed socialite or just too cheap to buy a round of drinks to impress your peers, take them out courtesy of info provided by The heavens have smiled on folks that enjoy ‘dippin in the sauce’ and getting their party on everyday of the week. Myopenbar provides weekly updates on free and nearly free booze offerings in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. Soon to come to that list are Boston, DC and Seattle. Don’t assume that every event listed is devoid of class and culture, they run the gambit of not only your proverbial open bar with stumbling perves and sweaty broads, but also gallery openings, independent film screenings and artsy magazine release parties. The descriptions of each function are at times cynical, but mostly humorous. Stars aren’t used to rate each event, just tiny martini glasses. Sign up for Myopenbar’s boozeletter today and amaze your friends with how in the know you actually aren’t.


Do You! by Russell Simmons

If anyone is fit to write about entrepreneurial success it’s Russell Simmons. Do You!, however, is not a specific outline of how he built his numerous companies, rather it’s more a set of concepts that one can use in business, or everyday life, to better themselves. I have to admit, after reading the book I was inspired to start work on a project I had been putting off for years and it felt good. Simmons will be the first to acknowledge there’s nothing new in this book, what Do You! has are essentially common sense realities about life that we should all know, but sometimes forget to harness. After reading through it your first thought will probably be “I knew all that, so how come I’m not doing all of it?” My lone gripe with Do You! is that Simmons goes a bit overboard with his love of yoga, something that I think could have been put more in the background. In fact, you might want to just skim that chapter, but make no mistake, read through the rest and you will, much like me, be inspired to do even more in life.


Wild Stars Seeking Midnight Suns

One can’t help but to love J. California Cooper and her heavy-handed narrator self in her latest offering of short stories, Wild Stars Seeking Midnight Suns (2006), told the way your tough but sweet, God-fearin’ auntie would: sometimes graceful, sometimes verbose, often preachy, forever feigning ignorance, but wisdom-wise in true southern doublespeak. Although different ages and circumstances were identified, attempts to give the narrator of each story a separate personality were futile; one could imagine aunties’ shawl-draped shoulders embracing the southern breeze as she recounted her tales. The one perceptible departure was an odd, rambling narrator whose message nearly fell through the holes in her childhood recollection. The vibrant characters adorned with telling names offer pre-encounter insight into their lives like sisters Willa and Futila Ways and politician Mr. Bsurd. The tales presented in Wild Stars Seeking Midnight Suns hold all the jealousy, misery, adultery, covetry? and every breakable admonition in the Old and New Testaments one can handle where characters reap what they sow, for better or worse. Give it to a churchified loved one and they’ll smile for days. But be careful or you’ll find yourself their next victim, er witnessee.


Can Joann - Hurt People Hurt People

I appreciate its introduction, as I close my eyes to recognize film credits appear on the miniature screens that are the back of my eyelids. This is definitely, the perfect opening instrumentation for a future indie film that will win countless awards and change the world as we know it, in ‘pay it forward’ fashion. Can Joann rocks, on ‘Hurt People Hurt People’ their album recorded in a farm house located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. With nine total tracks your equation works out as such; [a hint of head nod + smooth cool rocky blues, equals]. There are poetic pen etches and successful attempts made to address personal life issues that many of us face but don’t always acknowledge. There’s quite a bit of self analysis going on here. Subtle and overt remarks about society that display optimism and the belief of future progress ultimately exist as well. ‘Hurt People Hurt People’ is actually an inspiring story being told in song if you catch on to the plot early and pay attention throughout.



‘Waitress’ is a little bit country, and a little bit off-kilter funk, tragic-romantic, dysfunctional comedy. An amalgamation of peculiar characters that converge into a brilliant, well balanced blend of interesting human ingredients, sorta like those edible ones Jenna (Kerri Russell) uses to create the magnificent pies she’s known for. Jenna’s husband Earl (Jeremy Sisto) is quite disturbing. Veteran actor, Andy Griffith who plays the role of Old Joe, is a certified scene stealer, while Ogie’s (Eddie Jemison) ‘spontaneous poems’ will indeed put a smile on your face. Nathan Fillion as Dr.Pomatta is convincing as mister nice guy awkward, gradually building to become the picture of a slightly flawed knight in shining armor. Dawn (Writer/Director; Adrienne Shelly R.I.P.) is big screen ‘Ugly Betty’ incarnate. Becky (Cheryl Hines; Curb Your Enthusiasm) is satisfyingly humorous. And Cal (Lew Temple) is a side order cook slash restaurant manager who’s much smarter then he let’s on. ‘Waitress’ is a film about, pies, marriage, infidelity, growth, interestingly strange relationships and more pie.


Carina Round – Slow Motion Addict

In a fair world Carina Round would be ruling the pop charts with Slow Motion Addict. We don’t live in a fair world, however, and the pop charts in America haven’t been very kind to foreign acts as of late, most of which become either one hit wonders (Lady Sovereign), or critically acclaimed artists who can’t seem to get airplay or sell records (The Streets). Hopefully Round will find a way around this predicament as Slow Motion Addict is one part The Killers and one part The Cardigans (think Gran Turismo Cardigans not “Lovefool” Cardigans). Round proves she can write, rock and even slow it down on Slow Motion Addict, making it one of the scarcest kinds of albums around, a complete Top 40 album. After a complete listen it’s clear Slow Motion Addict wasn’t made to sell singles on iTunes, it was made to be a great album, and that’s exactly what it is.

Tank – Sex Love & Pain

Sometime during the last decade or so R&B music made the move from talking about all aspects of life to simply speaking about relationships. Love has become the overwhelmingly favorite theme of R&B singers and Tank is no exception. On Sex Love & Pain you can expect to hear songs about, well, Sex, Love & Pain, though there seems to be an abundance of the Pain. Tank can sing, his only issue is the subject matter he chooses gives him little to get creative with. Yes, we all need booty albums, but if Tank wants a lasting legacy in R&B he might want to try dipping his feet into the deeper end of the pool sometime. I think we’d all be pleasantly surprised by the results. In the meantime he’s given us another fairly typical R&B album.

Sa-Ra – The Hollywood Recordings

Very few groups have the hype machine working for them quite like Sa-Ra does. Everywhere I’ve turned in the past six months someone has been trying to sell me on Sa-Ra being the next big thing in Hip-Hop. Of course, all of those people doing the selling work with them in some way. Now that The Hollywood Recordings is out we can all finally judge for ourselves. Sadly, much like the majority of things that are over-hyped, Sa-Ra isn’t much to write home about. The Hollywood Recordings sounds like an album made up of people who think they’re really cool and desperately want us to feel the same way about them. Unlike a George Clinton album, where the artist comes across as cool because they are, not because they feel they are, Sa-Ra’s album lacks authenticity. At times they try to channel George Clinton, and at other times (a lot of times) they make attempts to sound like Pharrell, but at no point in time do they attempt to create a sound of their own. In the end, The Hollywood Recordings is another example of someone trying to manufacture cool when we all know in reality cool is simply a state of being and it can’t be faked.


The 100th Human by Chris Fenwick

Want to help yourself but avoid the hollowness of the typical self-help book? Turn off your internal editor, let go a little, and you’ll soon find yourself enjoying Chris Fenwick’s “The 100th Human.” The novel takes its title and premise on the scientific study and questioned phenomenon of the 100th Monkey effect, which determines that once a critical mass of awareness is reached, knowledge will spread mentally to all others. Despite its occasional weak phrasing and obvious monologues on positive thinking, it was a worthwhile pursuit. The author deftly controls the speed of the book, placing readers in the thick of the characters’ physical and spiritual quest for truth as they encounter impending danger. Buy it from Amazon and visit the author’s website for access to some freebies that will help you to continue to seek heightened awareness. “The 100th Human” novel puts your toe in the self-help sea, but it’s up to you to step in.

Pad Your Pocket with

Unlike other click-thru companies, makes sense (see dollars & cents). Sign-up is hassle-less and fee free. Members receive no-obligation emails to visit websites, taking advantage of sale prices, free shipping, and other valuable deals at places you would shop anyway for products you want. Members can join the latest diet/fitness/book club for 10 to 10,000 points. For non-purchase options, every click-thru earns 5 points and completing short surveys adds 10-50 points to your account. Points are redeemed in the form of gift cards for hundreds of reputable internet and physical locations, dispelling worries of imaginary bucks to spend on the equivalent of 99¢ store gems. If, like many, you’ve long since adapted your life to a box full of email, you won’t mind these three or so more a day that can pay for a birthday gift or your next pair of kicks.



There are many different adaptations to the Alraune story of a ravenous woman. My favorite, hands down, comes from Eros Comix. The brief series follows Dinah, a gorgeous black woman that becomes cursed with an insatiable appetite for sex. Dinah must figure out how this curse was placed on her and whether or not she really wants to be freed of it.

I think the fact that I don’t usually stumble upon black adult comics very often is why this stands out for me. What a sexy, smart, and flat out FUN series. If you happen across any of the issues, allow for some ‘alone time’.

Thievery Corporation - The Cosmic Game

Making electronic music that doesn’t fall out of the cookie cutter format is tough. When you deal with dance beats, eventually the noise becomes all too familiar. Thievery Corporation has a unique sound that leaves the listener in a relaxed rage. No, that’s not a typo. Their album, ‘The Cosmic Game’ is best served mid-evening, after a good smoke.

Prepare for socially conscious (yet not overbearing) lyrics like:
We are eternal, made of the creator/ Won’t fall to the soul-less devastators/Divide and conquer, try to separate us/ Up to this day, them still try to rape us
From Warning Shots

The paradox of poverty has left us dismayed/Sliding democracy, washing away/The toil of the many goes to the fortunate few/The revolution solution, oh I’ve come to join you
From Revolution Solution

I never thought politically correct could be so downright sexy……

Amerimacka…..Oh what a beautiful life/Amerimacka…..Is like licking honey off a knife
From Amerimacka

Padre @ Pianos in NYC 5/26

From the lyrical content of Padre’s Left In A Trade it’s obvious the group is a little different from your normal indie rock bands. Who else writes about the transgendered? The group opened Saturday’s show with a song, “Rumors of Recovery,” that included that very topic in its first line, and lead singer Eli Kaplan used his full range of facial expressions to both further illustrate the lyrics and play to the crowd. Kaplan made sure the group’s 45 minute set was full of good times for the entire audience, taking time between songs to speak with the crowd, and at other times to tell us “the floor right by the stage is lonely and wants someone to stand on it” as a way to get people off the wall in the sweaty Pianos performance space and up closer to the stage. It’s always great to see a talented artist having fun while performing and in Padre the audience had the pleasure of seeing just that. It was definitely a great way to spend a Saturday night.


The Measure Of A Man by Sidney Poitier

‘The Measure Of A Man’ isn’t a self absorbed autobiography of an individual that’s accomplished much and chooses to assault us with his greatness. Sidney Poitier of course, is well aware of his contributions to the art of film, playing in a number of pieces with controversial topics that were far more then simply influential on life beyond the silver screen. Indeed, he’s modest to an extent. The most endearing segments of his story are the ones told about his early life as a child on ‘Cat Island’ in the Bahamas. A consistent theme in the book is how his training for survival as a youth on the island was revisited during various moments of significance throughout his seventy plus years. In my opinion the most important concept discussed is one of self analysis that ties directly into self responsibility along with the importance of family. Sidney Poitier covers so much to be considered in this ‘spiritual autobiography’. A great read written by an equally great man.


Chapped Hands Remedy

Guys, there is no reason to neglect your hands. Furthermore, there's absolutely nothing wrong with an occasional manicure (no clear polish!). While you contemplate, I have one suggestion for repairing those moisture deficient digits and that cuticle mess you call manly. C.O. Biglelow Apothecaries, a company established way back in 1838 has developed a lotion called, ‘Chapped Hands Remedy’ for the likes of you. Deemed, ‘The Ultimate Medicated Skin Protectant For All-Year Round Use’ by Bigelow, after personally sampling it at Bath & Body Works, I’d have to concur. At $14.00 for a 1.7 oz tube, the price is well worth it for transforming iguana textured skin into silky smooth (but still strong and masculine) hands that your lady of interest will appreciate and enjoy touching her special and equally silken, sensitive areas.


Dungen - Tio Bitar

Although I may require Pimsleur’s assistance (no need for channeling the dead, there are language tapes available) to decipher the lyrics of Swedish rocker Gustav Ejstes, I’ll gladly take the lessons. 'Tio Bitar', sounds like a crispy, vintage recording pulled from a time capsule buried deep beneath the soil, round nineteen sixty-something. I feel trippy-meadows, grass leaking dew suspiciously-suspect and I need a pair of the darkest shades ever made because that fireball in the sky is working overtime. I like the vibe, dig the frequencies throughout. Ten solid tracks and there’s no filler. Think I’ll skip Pim's method though and find a curvy, Swedish gal to help work the kinks outtah my lumbar region while 'En Gång I År Kom Det en Tår' plays just loud enough in the background from my refurbished Hi Fi.

Official Website


Tales of Eternia - PSP Game

For those that have been wondering why Sony has not released any real quality role playing games (RPGs) for its Playstation Portable system (PSP), well look no further. Tales of Eternia is your answer. Unfortunately this game has not been released in the US, only in the UK and Japan. So you will have to get a copy on Ebay or by other means. Good thing that the PSP is region free, meaning that you can play any Universal Media Disc (UMD) from any country. What makes Tales of Eternia stand out amongst other RPGs is the style of fighting, called 'linear motion battle system'. This basically means that you can cast spells and fight in real time within a 2D side-scrolling environment, kind of like Street Fighter. This makes for exciting battles with various types of enemies as you progress throughout the game. One can end Tales of Eternia in under 50 hours, but if you want to get the full experience - I would say 90 plus hours... easy.

Check out the official site at:


ART Studio V3 Mic Preamp

I'm of the opinion that more bang for the buck cannot be found in a mic preamp. This little unit provides an easy interface from microphone to recording device--be it a computer, a 4-track cassette machine, a digital multi-track, whatever... It's really simple to use and it sounds much better than just plugging the mic straight into whatever you're recording on. There’s a "Voicings" knob that slightly modifies the characteristics of the sound, and the settings are marked for what the manufacturer thinks the settings are good for, but my advice is just tweak it and stop when you like the sound. You can crank the input knob and push in the +20 gain button to get some seriously gritty sounds or back them off and it's crystal clear. I've found this little box to be invaluable, and frankly better sounding and more versatile than similar offerings from other manufacturers. For $70 brand new, there is simply no better way to make your microphones sound better.